Top 6 Best Spinning Rods For Trout (Buying Guide)

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Here is our review of the best ultra light spinning Trout rods in 2021.

Fishing Trout is one of the most beloved forms of fishing in the whole world. It’s a great source of fun and is suitable for beginners. It requires some techniques and skills that are different from other freshwater ones. Having the right rod for trout is important for trout anglers and can have an impact on your fishing experience and how many catches you get.

In the past several days, I spent significant time reviewing different rods and reading tons of reviews to find the best trout rod in the market. I’ve reviewed cheap rods under 50$ and expensive ones over 200$ too! 

I took into consideration different aspects including the price, material, sensitivity, durability, comfortability, and more! I also added a detailed buying guide to help you choose a suitable rod for you.

Here is a quick summary of our top picks. Feel free to scroll down for more in-depth reviews:

Our Top Picks

  1. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod. (Our Best Pick Overall)
  2. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods. (Best Value For Money)
  3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod. (Toughest Rod and Highest Durability)

6 Best Ultralight Fishing Rods For Trout

  1. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod. (Our Best Pick Overall)
  2. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod.
  3. St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod.
  4. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod. (Toughest Rod and Highest Durability)
  5. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods. (Best Value For Money)
  6. OKUMA Celilo UltraLight Trout Rod.

Let’s start:

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod


Type

Trout spinning rod

Specifications

  • Length: 5’0” , which is suitable for tight areas to avoid getting stacked in trees.
  • Power: UL, Suitable for catching trout , as it increases the sensitivity.
  • Action: Moderate, To be honest, I prefer fast action to fish trout. (Fast action is available in this rod)
  • Pieces: Available in 1 or 2 Pcs. 1 usually gives better performance, but 2 Pcs makes travelling easier.
  • Weight: 2.2 oz, not heavy, works good as it won’t get you tired easily while casting a lot for trout.
  • Handle Material: Cork

Croix trout spinning rod is also available in different lengths, weights, powers, and actions, according to your needs. The power ranges from Ultralight to medium-heavy. Action is available in moderate and fast. 

Components

  • SCII Carbon construction: They combined it with the Fortified Resin System (FRS) which provides increased strength and durability. In addition, carbon works on increased sensitivity.
  • Cork handle: Contoured handle which improves comfortability and helps you maintaining a strong grip on your fishing rod
  • Sea Guide Atlas Performance SS304 with black finish guides: They are guides that provide more durability and stability.
  • Sea Guide XDPS reel seat with sandblasted hoods on spinning models: A more comfy design with SS316 material that provides corrosion resistance and Anti-skin thin bands that helps in preventing reel movement.
  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish: Flex Coat is the world’s #1 epoxy wrap finish. A superior quality that offers an outstanding durability, brilliant clarity and a strong adhesion.

Other Features

  • The rod is shipped in heavy-duty fiber tubes with 1/4″ wall thickness. They also pad the rod out on the inside, and secure it in the tube to keep it from rubbing. 
  • Made in Mexico. Some reviewers consider it as a drawback. I personally don’t care as long as the rod is well made.

Important Note: St. Croix doesn’t make a 7’7″ Triumph rod. Amazon, unfortunately, by mistake has incorrectly made a 7’7″ rod option which is incorrect information. I think that option matches up to the 7′ model based on UPC. IF you need a longer rod, they do make a 7’6″ however, but the 7’6″ only come in 1pc rods. They work well for inshore, though this listing is for the freshwater version which is a little lighter duty than the Triumph Inshore rods.

Pros

  • Has plenty of backbone for hook sets.
  • Wide variety of available options.
  • Premium Carbon construction provides increased sensitivity.
  • Perfect packaging
  • 5-Year warranty: Backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.

Cons

  • Can be broken with larger fish.
  • Reel seat comes loose from time to time making your reel drop at critical fish moments. This may be a user error, but it’s worth thinking about.
  • Expensive.

Verdict 

I think this is one of the best ultralight spinning rods for trout out there. With premium construction, You get what you pay for. If you get it, I recommend pairing it with the best spinner reel that you can get.

These 2 components will enable you to feel every touch, starting from feeling the bottom of the bed, to the ever-slightest tap from the fish. A hard hit, and a suitable hook set makes it fun to experience every bit of fight and pull from the fish. I recommend going for a light or ultralight spinning rod with fast action because even an average-sized fish will give you a handful of action.




Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod


Type

Trout spinning rod

Specifications 

  • Length: 6’6” to 7’, Suitable for open area and tight areas also.
  • Weight: 7.2 to 8 Oz, this is considered a medium level heavy, which can get you tired after a while.
  • Pieces: Available in 1 or 2 Pcs.
  • Power: Available in ultra-light/ light/ medium rods. Go for the lighter versions for increased sensitivity.

Components

  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip design that provides extra strength.
  • Ugly Tech Construction with added graphite. Around 35% more graphite than ugly Stik Gx2 for a lighter weight rod and increased sensitivity.
  • Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel guides. Not the best on the market, but offers good durability.
  • Premium Cork Handles. Comfortable and enables strong hand grip.

Other Features

  • It’s packed in about an 8’ box with no padding.

Pros

  • High durability, very tough rod.
  • Very light.
  • Good quality for price.
  • Can handle big fish.
  • 7-Year warranty.

Cons

  • The Reel seat is a little bit small which doesn’t fit all kinds of reels.
  • The guides develop notches when used with braided lines. The notches create a very abrasive surface and destroy lines at a furious pace.
  • Lacks sensitivity and is a bit heavy.
  • Bad Packaging

Verdict

While being slightly higher in price than other economic options, Ugly Stick Elite Trout Spinning Rods offers high quality for the price. Their popularity is based on their near high-end performance at a very affordable price. If you’re on a limited budget, this rod is a good option.




St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod


Type

Spinning

Specifications

  • Length:  4’10”. A short rod that is suitable for tight areas when you’re surrounded by trees and other things you want to avoid.
  • Rod Wt.: 1.9 oz; Pretty light, which will enable you to cast for longer period without getting tired.
  • Power: UL. Great for sensitivity.
  • Action: Fast. This action with UL power offers a wonderful experience of feeling every bite or movement of the trout down there.
  • Pieces: 1. Good performance, but will cause problems during travelling.
  • Line Wt.: 2-6 lbs. Suitable for every trout setup with 4 pounds being the best.
  • Lure Wt.: 1/32-3/16 oz; Good for trout fishing. I recommend using 1/8, if you’re fishing in fast currents.

Components

  • Dynamic blend of SCVI and SCII graphite: Provides the needed mixture of power and light weight while maintaining good durability and great sensitivity.
  • Fortified Resin System (FRS): The fortified super resin and computer-controlled ovens helps preventing micro buckling, creating a blank that is 33% tougher and stronger than those built with traditional methods
  • Sea Guide guides with stainless steel rings and frames: Not the best in the market as stainless steels are not good with braided lines due to heat distribution.
  • Sea Guide XMS split style reel seat with custom insert: helps in sensitivity and comfort.
  • Premium-grade cork handle: Provides comfortability for your hand ang strong hand grip.
  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish: just like St. croix triumph ,which is a superior quality and high durability.

Other Features

  • Made in Mexico, but as I said it doesn’t matter as it’s made well.

Pros

  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY: Fishing pole backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
  • Super lightweight, high quality rod.
  • The cork and handle are great. It gives the rod a nice feel, makes it comfortable to hold, and helps with control.
  • Great sensitivity.

Cons

  • Too many eyelets for a short rod. All those eyelets create drag when casting and require me to use extra weight to get any precision in casts over 20 feet.
  • More Expensive than other rods
  • The sensitivity is problematic in windy conditions.

Verdict

This rod gives a good combination of UL power and Fast actions which offers a great experience of sensitivity. This makes him one of the best spinning rods. You will be able to feel even the slightest bites in the blank near your thumb. It’s expensive, but of high quality.




Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod For Trout


Type

Spinning

Specifications

  • Length:  5’ to 7’. It’s an ideal length.
  • Power:  Medium. Good, but UL is better.
  • Action: Medium. Not that great for trout.
  • Pieces: 2Pcs. Great for travelling.
  • Line weight: 6-15 LBS. Not the best of trout as the optimum is 4 pounds.
  • Lure weight: 1/8-5/8 oz. Great for fast currents.

Components

  • An Ugly Tech construction crafted from graphite and fiberglass, Provides quite high strength. It also offers the sensitivity of graphite while being affordable.
  • An innovative Clear Tip design, featuring more durability, strength and increased responsiveness.
  • EVA grips, not as comfortable as cork grips, but they absorb moisture and sweat. Besides, they are more durable.
  • Stainless steel guides, good, but still have the braided line problems.

Pros

  • 7-year warranty.
  • Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction.
  • Clear Tip design provides strength. Also gives a great line visibility for anglers learning the skill of trout fishing.
  • Durable and lightweight EVA grips, but not very comfortable.
  • Good travel rod.
  • Really tough and extremely difficult to break. Its strength can bear larger bass, pickerel and pike.
  • Comes in different models to suit your various needs

Cons

  • Not too sensitive as a graphite rod and not fast enough in action.
  • Fastening the reel in place is not the best and may give out if you over tighten it.
  • Stainless steel guides can be broken by braided line and also the same line creates lots of vibration and noise
  • Can’t feel light baits. making bait twitches is not very well.
  • There are some reviews that reported that the tip is bent.

Reasoning/ Verdict

A very tough and durable rod that lasts for a long time. Versatile and can bear some big fish due to its strength. The drawback is that it lacks the sensitivity required for trout and other small fish. Overall, I recommend it as a great budget choice.




KastKing Perigee II Trout Fishing Rod


Type

Spinning & Casting

Specifications

  • Length: 4’6” to 7’6”. Ideal for trout. Pick the shorter for tight places and the longer for rivers and open areas.
  • Power: UL to Medium Heavy. Stay away from the latter, UL is the best for trout.
  • Action: Moderate to Fast
  • Pieces: 2 Pcs.

Components

  • Carbon Fiber Blank: The rod is constructed from Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex blank technology which gives power, sensitivity,  strength, and accuracy.
  • KastKing PTS (Power Transition System) hybrid spigot joints in Perigee II 2-pcs rods : This transmits power smoothly throughout your fishing rod blank. The specialized high technology computer control wrapping at four angles (0⁰, 45⁰, 90⁰, 135⁰) keeps the power flowing. This technology offers the performance of a 1 piece rod while using a 2 Pcs rod.
  • Fuji O-Ring line guides: They are light, hard and durable.
  • EVA Grips: absorb moisture, but not very comfortable.

Other Features

  • Comes with a 2 tip option, which is different and great.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Great Value for money
  • Good for travelling as 2 pieces
  • The two tip option on this rod. Nice to have the ability to change out according to your needs
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Variable sizes.

Cons

  • Low durability – usually broken at the tip
  • Not very strong
  • The eyelets get loose with time
  • Small grip

Here is a quick overview on KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods:

Verdict

A good trout rod with about 29 sizes from UL to heavy spinning rods and also baitcaster rods from medium to heavy power. This ultralight trout rod is also suitable for Walleye, Catfish fishing. Be Careful when buying as there’s a lot of options and charts in the drop-down. 

Note: Certain models only come with the 2 tip option and it’s not clearly stated, so be sure which model you’re buying.




OKUMA Celilo UltraLight Trout Rod


Type

spinning trout rod

Specifications

  • Length: 4’6” to 8’.
  • Weight: 3 to 4.8 oz. It’s suitable for trout.
  • Power: UL/L. Ideal for trout fishing.
  • Action: Moderate
  • Line Wt.: 1-4/2-6/4-10 LBS. 4 pounds is the best, so this is optimal.

Components

  • Graphite composite blanks: Great for sensitivity.
  • Aluminum oxide guide inserts: light guides and durable.
  • Stainless steel Hooded reel seats
  • Fore and rear cork grips: provides comfortability while casting.
  • Standard pipe reel seat with short cork

Other Features

  • The rod comes in really poor packaging. I recommend buying the rod by itself, so Amazon doesn’t shove it in a box with other stuff and break it before being delivered to you.

Pros

  • Good UL rod for price
  • Great action
  • 2 pieces held tight together (didn’t separate)
  • Comfy Cork handle
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • Low durability
  • Breaks easily
  • Flimsy rod
  • Poor shipping package
  • No 1 piece rods.

Here is a quick overview of the OKUMA Celilo Ultralight Trout Rod:

Verdict

It’s not the best option in the collection, but they are a great option considering the budget. The graphite construction works on sensitivity and the Aluminium guide offers lightness. There is a guide at the tip which helps the accuracy and allows more control on the cast. The easily broken drawback should be considered, but overall, I recommend it if you don’t want to buy too much. 




A Buying Guide on How to Choose The Best Trout Fishing Rod

Length

The optimal length for the best trout fishing rod varies depending on the water condition you’re expecting to face. It typically ranges from 5-8 ft long. To cast for further distance, you need a longer rod as a bigger load means bigger momentum. But, be careful if you’re fishing trout in a tight area filled with trees because a long rod can make some trouble getting stuck on your backcast. 

For open water

A longer spinning rod for trout (8 ft) is more suitable for open areas when you can go for longer distances with no worries. It also provides more control on trout in open water by adding more leverage while landing the fish out of the water.

For compact areas

This is where shorter distances are expected. A shorter rod (6 ft or even shorter) will be a better option here. It will make casting much easier and avoid some troubles.

Ideal Trout Rod Length

You can go for an ideal mid-range length of 6-7ft. This will provide you with a long cast with being short enough to prevent fears related to tight places.


Weight

Weight is a number associated with the size of the trout fishing pole. A range from 0 to 14 was chosen to represent it with 14 being the heaviest one. Depending on where you’re fishing and the technique you’re using you will decide whether you want it light or heavy. 

Fishing Trout requires casting all day, which is tiring for any angler. Choosing a lighter rod is a wiser option here. Heavier weights will put unnecessary strain on your body. You will get fatigued after a few hours. That’s why you will lose focus and start to lose chances of getting catches.

Let’s discuss more the optimum weight for every case: 

Small streams

The 0 – 2 weight rods are a good option here. Fishing in small streams requires a lot of hands-on experience. Reeling and casting a lot needs a lightweight, so you can stand for more time. They perform well and are characterized by quick and accurate short casts on a small piece of water while targeting trout of size 6 to 14-inches.

Small to midsize streams

3 – 4 rods are better in midsize streams when you can have more distance to cast. They won’t put you down when fishing 12 – 16 inches trout.

Slightly larger streams and Rivers

Again we will go for 3 – 4 rods, but maybe with more length. You can even go for a 9 ft rod! Which is the higher the optimum range mentioned above, but it’s okay. This type of rod is specifically built for accurate dry fly fishing casts at longer distances and provides you with more reach to manage the line across the current better. 

Rivers and Big Rivers

The best trout rod weight and the best selling is 5 range rods. It can do everything you want quite well. It accurately throws baitfish patterns, small dry flies, and weighted nymphs. 5 – 6 range weight is considered heavy for trout fishing. But, it’s suitable for open areas and great for windy scenarios. They are also better if you’re planning on throwing sinking lines and baitfish patterns (like leeches).

Pro Tips: 

  • Reels also have their weight! It’s worth thinking about when you’re choosing the weight of your rod.
  • Don’t put too much focus on weight, consider other features first, then look at weight to make your final decision.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to the ability to feel everything happening down there. This is the most crucial aspect of the best trout spinning rod.

The best spinning rod for trout needs some sensitivity. Superior sensitivity is essential if you are looking to catch some trout. Trout are skittish. They don’t stay around for long and their bites are weak and don’t be felt most of the time. Compared to bass which bites strongly and can be felt easily.

Not feeling the hooks results in jerking too early pulling right out of the fish mouth or jerking too late after the fish have already got your bait and run.

Things that affect sensitivity are power, action, and material. They will be discussed in more detail further down. Also, each manufacturer has its own ways of improving sensitivity. 


Power rating

Power rating is how thick, stiff the rod is. In other words, it’s how much force the rod can take before flexing.  Because trout are one of the small fish, the best rod for them is the one that bends easily. Heavier rods don’t contain the flexibility required to detect trout light bites.

Ideal power rating

The optimum rod power rating is either medium light, light, or ultra-light. Thanks to their sensitivity, you will feel every movement of the trout with your bait underwater.

Feel free to pick any of the 3 categories:

Ultra-light

It is the most fun and sporting one here, but you will have to dedicate it to small-sized fish.

Light

A mid-range that can handle larger-sized fish than ultra-light.

Medium-Light

Allows to feel the fight and get some fun, while being versatile in handling larger types of fish.

Pro tip: Pay attention to the line weight variations. Lighter rods can bear lower line weights. Be sure to buy the appropriate line for your rod weight. ِA 3 – 10 pound line range is a good choice that will fit every trout setup.


Action

ِ A rod action refers to how pressure affects the binding of the rod while landing. It means where exactly the rod will bend. It ranges from slow to extra-fast action rods. When looking for the best trout rod, you should consider it. Faster rods bend at the tip, slow rods near the butt. Medium rods bend in the middle.

How does action affect trout fishing?

Trout are small fish and their bites tend to be more subtle than other species. The faster the rod, the more sensitive it’s, which is what we need.

The Ideal Action

Fast action rods are the best ones out there for trout. If you used it with an ultra-light rod, you will experience the fun of feeling every bite of trout fish and enjoy more catches.

You may consider using medium-action rods in large water areas because of the more casting lengths. It provides better sensitivity and accuracy when casting with lighter lures, which is usually used in fishing for trout.

You will notice that the rods mentioned above are at least medium action rods. They won’t bend too much at the tips and won’t need much weight to flex, making you feel the bite.


Materials

This point should be tied up with the previous one. Your rod material can provide a highly sensitive rod and in contrast, can make your rod sluggish. We need a material that flexes to transmit vibrations quickly. Material is one of the causes that rods prices vary greatly. The main three materials for trout fishing are: 

Fiberglass

  • The worst and least expensive one.
  • Bends a lot and is suitable for slow action and sluggish rods.
  • Uncomparable to carbon or graphite in terms of sensitivity or strength.

Note: Slow action rods are something that we don’t want like I previously mentioned.

Graphite

  • The most common one and more affordable than carbon fibers.
  • Thanks to the fragility of graphite, it transmits the vibrations through the rod very well.
  • With this superior material, feeling every nibble of trout won’t be a problem.

Pro tip: If you’re on a budget, consider a graphite composite fishing rod. It’s a mix of graphite and fiberglass. You still get the advantages of graphite for a cheaper price.

Graphite and Carbon fiber

  • Stronger, more sensitive, more powerful.
  • You will cast more accurately and get a better hook-up rate.
  • The ideal for trout fishing, but that comes with the price that it’s more expensive.

Note: When you compare strength and sensitivity, the latter is the first priority.


Style

Fishing for trout is done by spinning gear. Trout rods are usually designed to be used with spinning reels. Something to put in your mind is that there are a wide variety of spinning reels and should make sure that your rod and reel are matching very well or you’re going to lose some money.


Other Features

Rings

The resistance and quality of the rings can make some difference in the field. They allow the line to slide freely without overheating and breaking it. (This is a general tip, not only for trout).

Comfortable Grip

The handle material is a personal preference. Cork is comfortable, but many anglers rather fo for foam or some composite material.

Trout rods tend to have short grips, which is suitable for trout handling purposes. But this can be a pain if the grip doesn’t fit the angler’s hand correctly. Having a well-designed cork grip allows fishermen to fish for long times by alleviating the extra pressure added to their hands while casting.

Trout Rod and Reel Combo

If your goal is;t just to buy a trout rod, but you want to get a whole combo for the best matching. I highly recommend checking our guide here about 5 Best Trout Fishing Rod And Reel Combos – Review and Buyer’s Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Trout see a fishing line?

Yes, it can see fishing lines, but you can use fluorocarbon trout lines. It’s invisible underwater.

How long should a trout rod be?

As previously mentioned in our buying guide, it ranges between 5 – 8 ft according to the water condition you’re facing.

What to consider when buying a trout rod?

Check our buying guide to know what to look for and how to choose a suitable trout fishing rod for you.

What is the best weather for trout fishing?

Trout like to feed between 34 – 67°F. They also become more active between 41 – 49°F.

What depth do trout feed at?

According to the season:
Winter: at 10 feet below sea level.
Mid-spring: 35 – 45 feet.
Late-Spring: 50 – 65 feet.
Summer: in the 53 degree thermal layer.

Can you fish trout with a medium rod?

Yes, you can, but it’s not the best. I recommend going for lighter rods.

What is the best setup for trout fishing?

Feel free to check our updated article about trout fishing to know the best setup and techniques for trout fishing.

Can you catch trout on a bass rod?

Yes, you can. The fish won’t see a difference, but you will. Bass rods are heavier which means you’re going to get more tired. It also won’t cast a little spoon very well!

What size hook should I use for Trout?

Size 8 to 14 is suitable. I also recommend using barbless hooks, unless you plan to eat them [1]

Bottom Line

As a quick recap, St. Croix Triumph is our overall winner, but it’s more expensive. If you’re on a budget consider one of the cheaper options listed above.

Choose your trout fishing rod wisely according to your budget, weight, length, power, action …etc. Don’t forget to pair it with a suitable trout reel and lures. Know your gear and understand its limitations. Trout rods are purposely fragile and very sensitive and you have to pay more attention and care to them. Learn how to handle them to increase your catches. Good luck with buying the best trout rod for you!